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Instant Pot Apple Cider | Fall Favorite

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Fall is apple season and it’s the perfect time to cook some Instant Pot apple cider that tastes great, smells amazing, and is full of the spices of the season! You can have this delicious beverage ready fast, with very little time or effort.

And I love the way homemade cider makes my house smell – full of the warm fall smell of apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. It is better than any scented candle.

This pressure cooker recipe is simple with only a few ingredients and a rich warm taste. Take delight in this uniquely fall recipe and make some today!

glass of cider in front of pressure cooker

Why You Will Love this Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

  • It is the perfect fall drink.
  • Serve it warm, chilled or spiked.
  • Using a pressure cooker means it doesn’t take hours to make.
  • As the holiday season approaches homemade cider is a great way to bring out the Thanksgiving or Christmas spirit.
  • Apple cider is delicious in cooking too, check out my recipes for apple cider beef stew or apple cider turkey brine.
  • This recipe is naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.
Instant pot apple cider in glasses

What Kind of Apples Should I Use?

Any type will work in cider. I think cider tastes best when you use a variety of apples, combining tart apples like Granny Smith with sweet ones like Cortland.

But if you have a favorite or get a great deal on apples you can just use all one variety. I have seen all Honeycrisp cider in our local store, for example.

apple cider ingredients
Cider ingredients

Other Ingredients

Oranges – Adding few oranges to the cider is traditional and gives the cider just a bit of a citrusy flavor.

Spices – The cider is flavored with whole spices, including cinnamon sticks, all spice berries, cloves and nutmeg.

Brown sugar – It works best to add the brown sugar after pressure cooking, so you can season it to your tastes. Cider doesn’t usually need much added sugar, because apples are so naturally sweet.

How to Make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot

Note – I made this in a 6 quart pressure cooker and you can make a larger batch if you have an 8 quart model. I’m tempted to buy an 8 quart model just for making cider!

1. Prep

Wash and dry the fruit. Cut the apples into chunks, discarding the core. There is no need to peel the apples. Peel and section the oranges.

Then add all the fruit to the inner pot of the pressure cooker. My fruit went to about the the halfway line on the pot, which is as full as you should fill it.

fruit before pressure cooking
Fruit before pressure cooking

Add the whole spices to the pressure cooker, pushing them down into the fruit. 

Then pour about 8 cups water (2 quarts) into the Instant Pot. Make sure the liquid goes to the halfway mark but don’t go much over that.

2. Pressure Cook

Put the lid on, making sure the sealing ring is in and you have the valve closed. Set the Instant Pot to Manual, high pressure, for 15 minutes. It will take about 10-15 minutes for it to reach pressure.

Once it is done let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes. Then do a quick release and take the lid off.

fruit after pressure cooking
Fruit after pressure cooking

Fish any big whole spices like cinnamon sticks or nutmeg out of the container. Smaller ones like cloves or allspice can stay in the pressure cooker.

3. Mash

Use a wooden spoon or a potato masher to mash the fruits. This allows the juices from the fruits to be released into the cider.

mashing the fruit
Mashing the fruit

4. Strain

I like to strain Instant Pot cider twice. First I strain it through a colander into a bowl to remove large things like the remaining spices and peels.

straining the cider
Straining the cider

Then I strain it a second time through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, pressing the solids against the strainer to release more of the juices.

You can just go straight to straining it through a mesh strainer, but I find it takes longer in the end because it drains so slowly.

cider after straining
Strained cider

When you are done discard the solids that are left over.

5. Sweeten

Add the brown sugar a few tablespoons at a time and stir until they dissolve. Taste the cider to see if more sweetener is needed.

adding the sugar
Adding sugar

You can also use maple syrup, honey or a low carb sweetener like Truvia instead of sugar. 

How to Serve

You can serve the Instant Pot apple cider warm or cold. If you want to serve it warm put it back in the Instant Pot to make hot apple cider.

Add some apple slices, orange slices or spices like stick cinnamon or star anise to the cider if you like. For a festive holiday beverage add some fresh cranberries to your glass.

You can also spike the cider! A little rum or bourbon will really warm things up. Or try this salted caramel apple cider cocktail.

apple cider with apples in background

How to Store

The cider needs to be refrigerated and will keep for 5-7 days. Keep the cider in an airtight container such as a mason jar or a pitcher with a lid.

Can I use powdered spices instead of whole spices?

Whole spices will work much better than powdered spices. Powdered spices don’t dissolve and will settle on the bottom of the pitcher. So use whole spices where ever possible.

What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Cider is less filtered than juice. It has more pulp in it which makes it darker and thicker.

How long does homemade cider last?

Homemade cider lasts for about 5 days in the refrigerator. After that it might start to ferment. But it won’t ferment in a good way to make hard cider, you’d have to add yeast and use some home brewing supplies to make that happen. So use it within about 5 days.

Find more Apple Recipes

Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

Instant Pot Apple Cider Recipe

apple cider with apples in background

Make some Instant Pot apple cider that tastes great, smells amazing, and is full of the spices of fall!

Prep/Mashing/Straining 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Pressure Reach & Release Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8-10 medium apples assorted such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala or Cortland
  • 1-2 oranges, peeled and sectioned 
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 whole nutmeg 
  • Water, about 8-10 cups
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar, depending on taste

Instructions

  1. Clean and cut the apples and oranges. I peel the oranges but not the apples.
  2. Add the fruit to the Instant Pot. It should fill up to around the mark for halfway.
  3. Add the whole spices to the Instant Pot. Then add about 2 quarts of water to cover the apples and reach the halfway part of the inner pot. You can go a little over halfway, but don't overfill.
  4. Put the lid on making sure the sealing ring is in place and the valve is shut. Set the pressure cooker on Manual, high pressure, for 15 minutes. 
  5. It will take about 10 minutes for it to reach pressure. Once it finishes cooking let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes. Then release any remaining pressure manually.
  6. Take the lid off and remove the large spices like the cinnamon stick and nutmeg from the pot.
  7. Mash the fruit with a potato masher or large wooden spoon against the side of the pot.
  8. Strain the cider. I like to strain it twice, first through a colander into a bowl first to remove spices and large solids like apple peel. Then strain it again through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer, pressing solids against the strainer to release the juice. Discard the solids when you are done.
  9. Stir in brown sugar to taste, a few tablespoons at a time.  
  10. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled with apple slices and cinnamon stick, if desired.

Notes

I made this in a 6 quart pressure cooker. You can make a larger batch if you have an 8 quart model.

You can also sweeten the cider with maple syrup or a low carb sweetener.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 83mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 7gSugar: 29gProtein: 1g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and doesn't account for discarding the apple solids.

apple cider in glasses with sliced apples and spices
By on October 19th, 2021

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